x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

'My mission is making women feel pretty'

The Life: Christina Karachaliou, the founder and managing director of O' My Glamour!, walks us through her day.

Christina Karachaliou, the managing director of O' My Glamour!, helps women who feel they have nothing to wear. Lee Hoagland / The National
Christina Karachaliou, the managing director of O' My Glamour!, helps women who feel they have nothing to wear. Lee Hoagland / The National

Christina Karachaliou arrived in Dubai with her husband in 2007. A mental health professional in the United Kingdom, she switched to working in administration. Always having had a love for fashion, she decided to take professional courses with a view to starting a personal styling business. She launched O' My Glamour! in January.


I could not leave without my pastry in the morning. So I have breakfast, shower, do my make-up ritual. I make sure I represent who I am and O' My Glamour! when I meet my clients.


I usually start around 9 o'clock. I check my emails and everything that is pending from the day before. I am a one-person company, so everything runs through me. If a client has emailed me and I need to arrange an appointment, that's the first thing I do. I also do some research regarding the latest fashion trends. If I have an appointment later on in the day, then I prepare for that. I create a shopping itinerary: I find outfits then take my clients to visit and try them.


If I have a client early who has to go pick up her kids from school, I would meet her maybe at 10 o'clock when the stores open. I live 10 minutes from The Dubai Mall so I walk there. The majority [of my clients] are expat women; I have some GCC clients - but they are probably 10 per cent of my client base. A lot of the women want to create a full wardrobe [so] it would be mix and match high-street brands with designer brands. Part of the job I love is helping the everyday woman who feels that she has nothing to wear. More recently, one of my bigger projects was doing the styling on a three-day photo shoot for L'Oréal's annual bride magazine. I love doing the shoots and working for clients who have money ... but the everyday woman who needs most of the help, who looks after her? This is my passion. My mission is making women feel pretty and ... you don't have to spend a fortune. A lot of women are executives - they have the money, but not the time. They finish at 7pm or 8pm and need me to take them shopping until 12 o'clock at night. I am committed to my clients and don't see this as a nine to five [job]. After we finish with the wardrobe assessment or the shopping session, I put together a styling profile based on their colours and their styles.


This is when my husband gets home. We always try to make time for each other. If I know I'll be out with a client, then we'll make our own arrangements. The day I will not work is Friday; this is for me and my husband, for my personal life.


It really doesn't matter what time I get up. I really can't get to bed before 12, 1 o'clock in the morning.